Expedia Group said it is seeing “green shoots” in destinations
starting to reopen and with people thinking more about summer vacations.
Cancellations, while still at an elevated level, have
“I’m pleased to say -- but I would not get overly excited
about it -- that we’ve seen nice growth coming into May,” Expedia CEO Peter
Kern said during the company’s Q1 earnings call.
Hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic late in the quarter, Expedia’s
revenue fell 15% to $2.6 billion and recorded a net loss of $1.3 billion.
Late March going into April was the trough for Expedia, as
it was for many companies, Kern said. Now Expedia is on an upswing, though Kern
did not say how big a bump it is.
Vrbo, the company’s alternative accommodations brand, is coming
back faster than hotel bookings. Kern attributed that to city dwellers looking
to get away with their families. He also believes Vrbo has an advantage over
its competitors, as its emphasis is on whole-house bookings outside of cities as
opposed to properties in cities or rooms available in an otherwise occupied
Wednesday’s call was Kern’s first as the company’s CEO
after working with chairman Barry Diller since last year’s management shakeup.
“I’m really excited about the opportunities ahead of us,”
Kern said. “I’m not crazy. I know this seems like an odd time to take on
running a travel company, but the opportunities I saw as Barry and I dug into
the business are just tremendous, and I think great things are ahead for us.”